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Social Anthropology ...or tabloid journalism...?

Reader comment on item: The UAE's Fragile Good Life

Submitted by Philip (United Kingdom), Apr 11, 2016 at 08:02

I'm not sure whether this is a description of Emirates social customs (aka Social Anthropology) or an attempt at tabloid journalism with some implied criticism of 'the Muslim natives'. Strange piece.

...

"Fortunately, due to social constraints, this sort of depravity is quite rare in the UAE"... How do we know this (if they are so discreet) and in their own country, does it matter? They have rules: if you live there, Obey Them. If you don't Get Punished. Very Simple, Very Effective. It's THEIR Culture. Emirates not Eastbourne or East Anglia (UK). Rebellious Anglos (English/Aussies etc.) not welcome. Unless we want to invade them as well and make them into the 51 State of the Union... What if they did become 'more Islamic'? Their business. So long as they don't export it like their larger Saudi neighbour.

"Worse, the ruling family can misbehave with impunity": tell me one Arab Royal Dom where this isn't the case... I haven't heard of one...ready to be enlightened. Why 'worse'? Is this a 'Judgement'? If this were in Hampshire or the Hamptons it might be scandalous not to say illegal. In Saudi/ the Islamic Gulf it's more or less 'expected', 'The Norm' isn't it? So why the Judgmentalism? I'm only against THEM here in the West. They have a right to their own culture however harsh, severe, puritanical etc. in their own territory. We have no right to preach morality to them any more than they have a right to preach Islamism to us. Just as I don't approve of and would fight their Invasion by Immigration of the West, so I oppose Western invasion of their countries and uninvited intrusion in their affairs. Moralistic or otherwise.

"Eroticism, edginess, and radicalism are unwelcome. News from the UAE tends to be bland, about the emir's meetings, oil price fluctuations, store openings, bridge closings, times of prayer, and sports scores. The flamboyant Atlantis Hotel in Dubai brings Las Vegas to mind, except gambling, booze, and prostitution are to varying degrees illegal. Global Village, also in Dubai, feels like a Disneyland spinoff.": you know we're not all 20-65 going on 16-18, wanting to 'make it' with everything in sight (homo/hetero), to stand on soapboxes every day in print/on the Web, or to live in a permanent state of 'what's the next scandal, big Deal, etc.? Some people would actually welcome this kind of life in the Emirates. Where I live in deepest S. England its not so different, exc. we have alcohol (we have pubs but no excessive drunkenness; it must be a very boring life being a policeman here...). We're not Political (our Tory MP has a solid 15,000 majority; unshakeable...so what?) we're not Radical. We have Sexuality but are mostly young healthy families and retirees like myself (more or less); we are not rabidly 'after it'. We are civilised not aggressive/competitive. We are wealthy. Not me personally, but the community. I could abide Emirates for a while quite happily...

Why am I saying all this? Probably because I detect a note of Western (American?) self-righteousness in your piece. 'They are almost like Us but could be more like US if not Islamic, paternalistic and boring.' That's arrogance IMHO. I was brought up in the UK but in a SE European culture where they weren't sure whether Eastern or Western. Ex-Ottoman. So I like Islam where it is, and Europe where it is, but I cannot abide either Western arrogance to 'The Rest of the World' or Islamic 'convert or die 'khuffar'!

Thank you for your article: it was in every other way very informative and enlightening.

Submitting....

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